Madera County residents angry about fire station closing without notice before 4th of July

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Station 3 is more than six miles away in the Madera Acres area and from the outside it looks like a typical rural fire station. (KFSN)

Engine 3 sounded the alarm Wednesday and headed into action, but the firefighters started the call from the Old County Government Center, nowhere near their usual home base.

Station 3 is more than six miles away in the Madera Acres area and from the outside it looks like a typical rural fire station. On the inside, though, firefighters said it's too dangerous to use.

"It's literally falling apart. We've had two separate incidents where captains have been asleep on the bed and the bed's fallen into the floor," said David Allen, Madera County Fire Division Chief.

Firefighters said rats and raccoons also live in the walls and floors, so they put traps in the vents before they moved out.

Their new home is a 15-minute drive away, but it's temporary.

Allen had meetings all day Wednesday to come up with a patchwork solution, moving Station 3 equipment closer to home at a sheriff's substation and a city fire station and cut down on response times.

"Moving them into Station 6, it only increases them by about a minute to two minutes. Station 6 is the city station out by Station 3."

A brand new Station 3 is in the works to the east, but for now neighbors are uncomfortable about the coverage. Holly Taylor, for one, said it's dangerous.
She lives about 100 yards from the shuttered station and she lost a brother to heat stroke just this month.

"I really think the community, not only out here but everybody in our area is going to feel it because they're here to save us in 100 different ways besides fire so it's just scary."

Some residents also complained nobody notified them about the closure.

County officials are planning a notification soon, but they said this was an emergency situation with a building they think will be condemned.

Related Topics:
societyfirefightersmadera countyMadera County
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